Should the FDA regulate sodium in food?

Should salt be regulated?The Food and Drug Administration has received a call to begin a study concerning whether it should regulate or limit the amount of sodium that food items contain.  Such a study would cost more than a few payday advances, to say the least, but many advisory groups, including the American Medical Association, are in favor of the FDA regulating sodium levels.  Sodium is one of the elements that medical experts have said the American diet contains too much of.  Sodium is known to raise blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, the number one killer in the US.

FDA Sodium study could take years

Trials by the FDA take a long time to determine the positive or negative impact of a particular substance.  Sodium, though it is a vital part of the diet, is good for the body up to a certain point, after which it becomes a detriment.  The US Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, is spearheading the call for the FDA to regulate sodium in food.  A recently published Institute of Medicine report states that Americans have too much sodium in their diets.  The study was initiated by a Congressional request in 2008.

Sodium is vital in proper proportion

Sodium does play a vital part in the body, and according to this Health Canada page concerning sodium intake, it’s directly involved in maintaining and balancing fluids.  However, too much sodium results in higher blood pressure, which leads to hypertension and heart disease, the number one killer among U.S. adults.  According to the IOM brief, the main source of sodium in the American diet is through added salt.

Key ingredient in foods not exactly Weight Watchers approved

Many high fat foods, such as french fries, pizza and a lot of preserved and processed foods, a maligned mainstay of the American diet, use more salt than the IOM or American Medical Association would like. The American Medical Association has asserted, according to USA Today, that if restaurants and other food companies were to reduce sodium content by half over the next 10 years, about 150,000 fewer people would die as a result.  The IOM states that normal intake is 3,400 milligrams daily, over twice the recommended 1,500 milligrams.

Number one cause of death for U.S. Adults is heart disease

The number one killer of Americans is known to be heart disease. It has long been suspected that it is tied to our diet.  Sodium intake that’s too high is known to lead to higher blood pressure, a common cause of heart disease, and a heart transplant even on the insurance of Croesus costs more than no fax loans can possibly cover.  If there is possibly merit to limiting sodium levels, perhaps it’s worth looking into.

(Photo Credit: / CC BY 2.0)

Other recent posts by bryanh